Most of us would have walked past these tasty bundles of nutrition a hundred times – in the vegetable garden, in the shops – our attention is instead focused on the part we do want to eat: the broccoli fleurettes. Yet, broccoli leaves are just as tasty and nutritious. They look like this on the plant:
The challenge of broccoli leaves came to us for this first time this year: our broccoli was blind. Thanks to a devastating combination of insects, drought and an unexpected frost (yes, you can have all three at once), all of our broccoli plants lost their tips, the bits needed to give broccoli its fleurettes. So we ended up with this:
But don’t despair, we can eat the leaves. The larger leaves (that’s the blue-ish ones) can be a bit tough, so it pays to steam them first. The very small leaves might not need the same treatment, but they are all good and delicious.
Sauteed broccoli leaves
- broccoli leaves
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- Wash the broccoli leaves well, mainly so you don’t end up with this little bloke:
- Shred the leaves: stack them on top of each other, roll them together as tightly as you can and cut into 3-4 mm slices (just as you would for mermaid’s tresses)
- For larger leaves, steam them for about the same amount of time as you would broccoli fleurettes: it’s about 5 minutes in our microwave on moderate power for the largest leaves. The very small, new leaves are still quite tender and might not need this step
- In a large frying pan, saute the garlic then toss in the shredded and steamed broccoli leaves. Fry for a few minutes, until they are nicely softened and a deep green colour.
- Serve with a mere sprinkle of salt and, if you like, a squeeze of lemon juice.
We serve this with daal baht, and my other half loves it. The son, not so much: it tastes like vegetables.
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